“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)
This verse is the one I ended this past week’s Easter column with. But Easter isn’t over. Yes, it’s a single day on the calendar. This week the candy, baskets, decorations and so on will be half price in the stores. But thankfully, Easter isn’t a day…it’s a lifestyle for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The truth of Easter, God died on a cross bearing our sins and paying the eternal price for them, was buried and rose again the third day…well that’s what gives us the power to get up each day and go about our daily lives. The Gaither’s sing, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives!” The truth of the resurrection is the only hope of humans, from Adam all the way through the last human who will ever be born.
The truth of Easter is not only our hope, but also our joy. Our Savior is alive. Many “religious leaders” have died and some of their graves have become shrines and tourist destinations. But no one really knows where the borrowed tomb of Jesus was, because He only used it for three days. It is great joy to know that He died for me and a great joy to know that He lives to make intercession for me. It is also a joy to know He’s currently “preparing a place for me” and one day He will come back to this earth in victory!
Easter is also a daily peace, peace of mind and heart. There is so little that the human mind can find that gives peace today. Disease, natural disaster, political turmoil, hatred, violence…these all mark our daily news broadcasts and publications. But when we know that the Savior lives, that God is still in complete control (even that man didn’t kill Him but He laid down His life for us and took it up again), then we know peace doesn’t come from Washington, or Charleston, or Moscow or Beijing. Peace comes from the truth of the resurrection and faith in the Lord!
In our beginning verse today, Paul mentions living in the power of the resurrection. How much power does it take to bring a dead person back to life again? How much power does it take to breathe the universe into being and to keep the universe orderly and functioning? It takes power that is completely out of the ability of any human and is greater than we could even conceive. It is the power of God; the power of the Holy Spirit of God that indwells every true believer.
That is the power that we have in us. It isn’t power to do what we want to do. It is the power God gives us to do what He created us to do and has ordained for us to do. It is the power of living for the Lord each and every day!
This power gives us the power over our own personal sin. Before we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, our nature is sin; we were born in sin the Bible tells us. But after the Holy Spirit comes in, we have the power to live without sin. Most, if not all of us, will continue to sin from time to time, because we still like to have our own ways, and we still have a sinful nature, too.
We have the power to be obedient to the Word, to the will of God and to live a life that allows God to do His work in us. What is that work? Paul tells us in Romans 8 that God’s desire for all of His children is to “mold us into the image of Christ.” No, we’ll never be perfect, but each day we can be more perfect, more like Him, more obedient. Until one day, this mortal body will put on immortality and we will be like Him!
I like Christmas. It’s a one-day event, but the meaning goes on all year long. I love Easter. It’s also a one-day event, but it too continues. The earthly life and work of Jesus Christ began in the mind of God in eternity past. It was put into motion at Creation, continued when Christ became man (about nine months before Bethlehem). It climaxed at Calvary and an empty tomb.
But that work will continue into eternity future as the church, the saved of all the ages, see Him face to face, witness the nail prints in His hands and feet, see His smile and know His love and possibly begin to understand the greatness of that love, what it cost for that love to redeem lost men and women, and experience perfect praise and worship for eternity.
You may not want to keep your Christmas tree up all year. You may put away your Easter decorations and help the kids eat the candy (with or without their permission). But let’s never forget what Jesus did for us and what He’s doing today. And let’s live every day in the power of His resurrection and show the world the peace, love, grace and forgiveness that Easter so loudly proclaims! Yes, He’s still alive!
Spring to Life Gala
Dedicated to saving the lives of our most vulnerable yet precious “natural resources”, our unborn boys and girls, and aiding parents in crisis situations, Coastline Women’s Center is one of the most important and essential organizations on the Grand Strand.
This year’s Spring to Life Gala will be an online fundraiser and will be held April 20 beginning at 7 p.m.
This year’s theme is Abiding in All Circumstances drawn around John 1:4 “In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind.” The guest speaker will be Rebekah Hagen with her beautiful story of redemption and second chances as she shares her own abortion pill reversal story.
Watch at home or host a number of folks in your home or church, but be a part of this wonderful evening. Phone (864) 982-4124, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.coastlinewomenscenter.org. And make Coastline and all they do a daily part of your prayer life!
Help4Kids Needs Help!
One of the busiest and most important groups in the Grand Strand is Help4Kids, still trying to supply food for schools and needy families. Currently their food supply is diminished and needs our help to be replenished.
Current needs include: canned or fresh hams, fresh or instant potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, pasta and sauces, dried beans, canned meats, canned pastas (they can use 3,000 per week!), pancake mix and syrup, bagged apples and oranges and more. They can also use food gift cards, cash and checks to purchase foods. Help4Kids is located at 2523 Forestbrook Road in Myrtle Beach and their phone number is 843-651-4310. Please help as you are able!
The Best Place to Be: On Our Knees!
The Bible encourages God’s people to “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17), “pray always with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:17), and the exhortation from Paul to Timothy (I Timothy 2:8) that “men (and women and children too) pray everywhere.”
I’m sure your church, like mine, has a long prayer list and I’m sure you have your own personal prayer list, too. Here are some things that we, as God’s church, can and should be praying about daily:
■ Pray for our leaders, at all levels and right now, our elected incumbents and newly-elected leaders, that they will lead wisely and seek God’s wisdom and will in their new positions of authority
■ Pray for the church in America and the church around the world (especially the persecuted church). In the increasing darkness of sin, the church is the light and if we’re willing to be the light, then darkness cannot extinguish God’s truth!
■ Pray for our nation that we will return to a time of mutual respect for each other, of love, real toleration, and as the Bible tells us “accepting and bearing with” one another. Pray that the hate, the violence, the malice will end.
■ Pray that we’ll all respect life as a gift from God who alone has the right and power to begin and end it. Pray that we’ll realize that all life matters from conception until natural death.
■ Pray for our homes and families that love between parents and parents and children will be the “rule of the day” and that families will follow God’s pattern to be the solid basic building block of society.
■ Pray for our schools (all levels), students, teachers, administrators and service personnel. These are incredibly difficult days in education.
■ Pray for the sick, the infirm, the elderly, the needy and be willing to be God’s hands and feet to meet needs as you can.
■ Pray for each other. Each week as I share prayer requests at church, I ask our folks to look around and tell them everyone they see needs prayer. But we have a great God who can hear every prayer.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Conway’s First Friday Evening of Prayer will be held this week at 7 p.m. at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road. Everyone is invited to come pray. Our world, our nation, our churches, our families, our schools…all of us need prayer! Phone (843) 369-7729.
■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.
■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.
■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Please help as you are able. Call 843-347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ You are invited to the following services and activities at The Well By The Sea, 211 Forestbrook Road: In-Person Bible Study/Discussion Group on the “9 Supernatural Gifts of the Holy Spirit”, on Mondays at 11 a.m. beginning April 12 (no cost, no RSVP, masks required).
In-Person (or Zoom) Weekly Bereavement/Loss Support Group, every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Email email@example.com.
In-Person Hangout for Young Adults (ages 18-30); every Saturday at 7 p.m. Come for a free meal and planned activity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea; 406 65th Ave. North: Services (Zoom and Temple) Friday 6 p.m., Shabbat 10 a.m. (Masks required!)
Education classes: April 14, 21 and 28: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m. (via Zoom); Adult Education 2 p.m.-3 p.m. (via Zoom) (Book: Jewish Literacy by Joseph Telushkin); Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in the Rosen Center.
Upcoming: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), April 8; Yom Hazikaron, April 14; Yom Ha-atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), April 15.
Phone (843) 449-5552; website www.mbsynagogue.org.
■ The next New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held April 17 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m. at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Cars can begin lining up at 7 a.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.
■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the midweek group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.
■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on Business U.S. 17 Business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and in so doing you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.
■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd., invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.